Can Allergies Impact Psoriasis Symptoms & Treatment?

A few weeks ago I was on a conference call with the team at It was just an informal get-together. During this meeting, the floor was open to talking about whatever you like. To get the ball rolling, there was a stimulating ice-breaker question: "What is your favorite cereal?"

Now, what do you think would come out of a topic like that when talking about psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis?

Keeping to an anti-inflammatory diet

When I was a kid I liked Fruity Pebbles the most. As an adult, I pretty much don't eat breakfast. Maye a yogurt or something. However, as I was found myself in my forties with borderline cholesterol and blood pressure issues, I found myself eating more and more oatmeal.

Yes, every single day for about three years. This routine allowed me to keep these things in check. Strawberries or blueberries, a sprinkle of cinnamon, the possibilities were endless. Similar to pizza, it can be different every single day.

Having psoriasis, I knew anything containing anti-inflammatory properties is good, hence the cinnamon, sometimes turmeric. Maybe sugar a couple of times a year but very rarely.

My dreaded right hand

When I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, my psoriasis was pretty bad at this point. I was sick of the creams and light therapy and inquired about biologics. I soon started treatment. Within one month, I was pretty clear and after two months, totally clear, except for my right hand.

My knuckles never cleared. Even after being on a biologic for 1.5 years, I still wasn't clear on my right hand. I saw my dermatologist one day and he said "This isn't right. There must be something else." He asked me to take an allergy test. He mentioned that I could have an allergy, like nickel, and by opening doors and touching computers, it could be aggravating my skin.

Taking an allergy test

I thought this was really interesting and went ahead with the test. We started the test on Wednesday and by Friday, I felt like a burn victim. There was a spot on my back that hurt pretty bad. It felt like someone stuck a lit cigarette on my back. I removed the plastic from the test and there was a bright red spot there. The doctor confirmed. Indeed, I was allergic to, guess what? Nickel!

He totally called it. Now he starts pacing and says "It shouldn't be this bad unless there's something else. Like if you ate oatmeal every day." I started laughing and said "Yes. I have been eating oatmeal every day for about 3 years." We both laughed. I stopped eating oatmeal after that day. I cleared up and have been clear ever since.

We've got to pay attention

I love sharing this as there has to be a few people with experiences like this. It causes us to pay more attention as things aren't always ‘out in the open’ or a classic textbook example.

Did you have to change your diet to see an improvement in psoriasis symptoms? Did you have an allergy that was impacting your condition? How about an improvement to your biologic treatment?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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